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What are methadone maintenance programs?

Methadone maintenance programs can help IV drug users reduce or stop injecting drugs and help them return to living productively again. Methadone maintenance programs use methadone as a substitute to drugs such as heroin etc. Methadone maintenance programs have been used to treat opioid dependence for more than 45 years. Methadone is either taken orally or in a liquid. With the emerging use of Buprenorphine or Suboxone to treat opioid dependence a lot of questions are being raised about whether or not methadone maintenance programs are good or bad.

  • Do methadone maintenance programs really help rehabilitate opioid dependence or do they just enable it further?
  • Is it fueling some people’s addictions instead of helping them?

Some people consider methadone maintenance programs to be a great help to their lives giving them another outlet that is healthier than shooting up drugs. While others find that they are just as unable to function on methadone.

Is it really helpful to substitute one drug for another?

Methadone maintenance programs offer tons of help to drug users who are using needles and shooting up but all the methadone program is doing is getting them addicted to another substance which is very uncomfortable to stop because of the withdrawal symptoms.  Some users even refer to methadone as liquid handcuffs because the thought of stopping altogether is too painful.

The Good

Methadone maintenance programs are good in the sense that they stop users from having to shoot up, lower the risk of transmitting disease and allows them to get a safe dose of drugs instead of using dangerous methods to get high. That doesn’t mean they’re 100% safe, methadone has its’ risks.

The Bad

Methadone maintenance programs are bad in the sense that they just get addicts addicted to a different substance instead of getting them clean. In fact methadone maintenance programs are known as drug replacement therapy. Most addicts end up highly addicted to the methadone and the methadone is actually harder to get off of than the illicit drugs that the addict or alcoholic was using to begin with. Some addicts will continue to use their previous drug along with methadone and end up overdosing and dying. If they mind and body are not transformed to become dependent of a substance than it’s truly pointless.

Methadone maintenance programs are also legal so there is no deterrent for those going to the program to ever stop utilizing it. Additionally, those who are still abusing heroin can still walk in and get a dose of methadone; thus increasing their chances of an overdose. Lots of methadone maintenance programs or methadone clinics will still give methadone to addicts with other drugs in their systems knowing full and well that they are only using the clinic for cheap, legal drugs.

This is dangerous and causing more harm than good. Methadone maintenance programs should not be a long-term solution to drug abuse.

If you or someone you know needs methadone detox treatment please call us at 800-951-6135 or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.

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